Anwesha Barua


I am a Prime Minister's Research Fellow at the Centre of Biosystems Science and Engineering (BSSE) in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. I am interested in understanding how the mechanical microenvironment influences liver cells, especially in the context of liver fibrosis. I was awarded 'Recommendation with commendation' in the May 2022 PMRF review cycle. My work was also showcased as a highlighted poster during the PMRF Annual Symposium 2023, held at IIT Madras.

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Ph.D. (Centre for Biosystems Science and Engineering) : Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Aug 2018 - present

B.Tech. (Biotechnology) : Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Vellore Campus

Jun 2014 - Jun 2018

Ph.D. Research


Regardless of etiology, chronic liver diseases go through stages of fibrosis, cirrhosis and may culminate in hepatocellular carcinoma. In fibrosis and cirrhosis, the normal tissue gets replaced by scarred tissue which subsequently affects the hepatic tissue architecture and causes impaired hepatic function. Diagnostic techniques have demonstrated an increase in the stiffness of the liver as one progresses through the different stages of disease, meaning a fibrotic liver appears stiffer than a normal one. It has also been observed that the liver stiffness decreases to an extent after antiviral treatment was administered to HBV/HCV infected patients.
image Our goal is to understand how the stiffness of the microenvironment may affect the characteristics of liver cells, like hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells. We are also interested in investigating the correlation between the stiffness and function of these cells, particularly the hepatocytes, and understand whether they may play a role as a possible accomplice in fibrosis progression. We are also trying to understand whether the presence of Hepatitis C proteins make the hepatocytes more responsive to changes in substrate stiffness.

Concept figure


Research Work

We have fabricated collagen-coated polyacrylamide gels of varying stiffnesses to mimic the stiffness of a normal (3 kPa), fibrotic (10 kPa), and cirrhotic (40 kPa) liver. We are culturing hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells on the samples and performing experiments to assess the correlation between substrate stiffness and cell characteristics like stiffness, cell morphology, proliferation and gene expression levels of certain markers. We are also investigating the correlation between cell stiffness and function, in the hopes of identifying a biomechanical marker that can help improve the assessment of fibrosis. We are also investigating whether the presence of Hepatitis C proteins in hepatocytes make them more sensitive to changes in substrate stiffness.

My advisors

Prof. G.K. Ananthasuresh

Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science

Prof. Saumitra Das

Professor, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science



Courses taken


Teaching Experience


Awards and Honours